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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Long Time Coming

I took an 11 day road trip through North Carolina with my aunt during this past month and in just about 4 days we will be flying to California for a week. It has been a wonderful month, but painting has been on the back burner. Today's post was going to be about painting, but it ended up being about my trip. The waterfall above is the location where the" Last of the Mohicans" was filmed (I believe we were still in South Carolina at this point.) It was a nice hike down to the falls, still so lush and green. You can see there is lots of room to walk behind the veil of water. My aunt had picked me up at the Orlando Airport and we drove through GA, and SC to get to our destination of Franklin, NC and my aunt's friend, Karen. That drive took us a day and a half. That evening we went into town to the Saturday night auction, and what fun that was. Oh my. I wish I had a trailer. I could not believe what  things were selling for, not that I need anything. We left the auction early and went to listen to the last hour of Music on the Green, where a bluegrass band was playing in the town square - there is live music every Saturday evening. What a great sense of community I felt there.
The next day found us driving from Franklin to the Tennessee entrance of the Smoky Mountain National Park. We stopped at the top of the mountain on our way to the other side, and lo and behold, part of the Appalachian Trail was there! I met a couple who had just done 8 miles that day, and they were soaked to the bone but happy. I walked up a short ways just to say I had been on the trail, not wanting to keep us too long from our destination, but oh would I have loved to have least walked the Sweat Heifer Creek Trail.
We were headed to Cades Cove, a wonderful old settlement that was on an a one way 11 mile loop. The buildings are all open to walk in and explore. There were 16 stops on the map, including 3 churches, an amazing cantilevered barn, homes and old graveyards. It was 5 pm by the time we hit the loop so we had to pick and choose where to stop. The house above was one of the larger abodes, but very typical. The photo below was taken from the car but showed the landscape off well, I think. Evening rain...
Monday we headed North to Asheville. We did the market first and then some shopping. Spent 2 nights in Asheville seeing the sights and walking the town. Some of the healthiest restaurants I saw in the South and some of the best art were in Asheville.
Scuppernong Grapes (note size next to figs!) The Muscadine are the dark grapes behind.
The Fiddlin' Pig in Asheville, where you get Bluegrass with your BBQ. Seemed a perfect pairing along with a local brew.
On the Blue Ridge Parkway on the way to the highest point, Mt Mitchell. We had followed the Harley riders for miles. They were from Florida.
Fried Green Tomatoes with crab!
After driving the Blue Ridge Parkway North, we headed towards Old Salem for a day. The biggest disappointment for me was that Salem is this big interpretive venue, where they dress in period costumes, made by a "tailor" who sews all the clothes for the employees, a "shoemaker," who makes the period shoes, etc. Like a living history museum. There is a much touted bakery, using "authentic original" recipes, and then you look on the ingredient list of the cookies they sell and I can assure you, the are not using the original recipe, unless modifications are accepted into their definition or authentic and original. In their defense, they do use the original ovens and mixing troughs, bread paddles and other molds for baking. The stores do have some handcrafted items, but the majority of the items are made in China. I guess I expected a bit more authenticity being that this area is full of some of the finest craftspeople I have ever seen in one area. The "apothecary" could not carry on a discourse on basic herbal remedies, yet the shelves were lined with wonderfully filled jars of herbs and roots and barks. I guess I have too great of expectations.

The next day we went to Greensboro, NC to visit the International Civil Rights Museum. That was very interesting and I am glad I went. Very thought provoking and hard to believe this was still going on in my lifetime. I grew up in a colorblind military family overseas, so this part of American history seemed very foreign to me.
Vic with friend from Zweibrucken American HS, Sandy. We hadn't seen each other in decades.
From Greensboro we high tailed it to Charleston, SC to be there bright and early on Saturday morning. We met my friend, Sandy on the Battery and then did a horse drawn carriage ride of old Charleston. I thoroughly enjoyed it, visited the Slaves Market (not where slaves were sold, but where slaves sold goods), and then sat on the water for lunch where we had the fried green tomatoes as an appetizer (Very Good).  My digestion took a week to settle down after all the fried food I ate in such a short time. (Fried pickles came with our bbq in Asheville. Not something I need in my life, nor the boiled peanuts. UGH.)
Leaving Charleston we drove along the marsh lands to Savannah, were we did a quick drive through so I could at least see how the squares are laid out. Charleston and Savannah are often compared, but I found them so completely different. I would have liked to have at least spent one night there, but if we had then I would not have been able to go to the beach the next day and eat one of the best pizzas I have eaten outside of Italy. I did so enjoy walking the beach. My aunt and uncle live in Melbourne, Fl, and the area is beautiful and full of birds. Walking along the golf course out back of my aunt's home, I saw egrets, storks, cranes, ibis and some ducks I did not recognize. I loved it! See the terns below with the sea gulls?
And here is my traveling companion and aunt, Vi; her mother, and my Uncle Lou (my father's younger brother) as we prepare to go to Lone Cabbage so I can try gator on the way to Orlando Airport.


Aloha Sistah said...

I predict that the experiences you took away from your road trip and upcoming California sojourn will surface when you are back at your easel on a regular basis, just as the amaryllis bulb I planted in my garden after the show it put on last Christmas is busy storing up the energy it needs to do it again this winter.

victoriasart said...

You are right. Sometimes you just need time to recharge the old batteries and soak in some new perspectives. Deciding on which photos to post I came upon some shots I took just for resource material, and I am re-energized again. Thanks.